NPR : Tell Me More

Filed Under:

After Devastating Tornado, Joplin High Bounces Back

Play associated audio

Nearly one year ago, a devastating tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, Mo. The tornado was the deadliest in the U.S in almost 60 years, killing 161 people and injuring more than 900. But life for Joplin's residents is finally starting to return to normal.

That includes life for students at Joplin High School. The school was destroyed by the tornado just hours after last year's commencement ceremony. Although the school's old location is still in ruins, the city has found a temporary solution to keep classes going.

"We've had a lot of great experiences this year, and obviously a lot of tragedy, and we're working with people that emotionally are having a difficult time. But people have bounced back in Joplin, and we're still bouncing back," Principal Kerry Sachetta tells Tell Me More host Michel Martin.

Students attend school in two locations. The 9th- and 10th-graders are housed in an older building in the district, while the 11th- and 12th-grade students attend classes in a vacant space in the city's local mall. The 90,000-square-foot space was repurposed to temporarily accommodate students and faculty just weeks after the tornado.

President Obama visited Joplin a few days after the tornado devastated the school. He will return to deliver this year's commencement speech to the Joplin High School graduating class.

Joplin, and especially its students and faculty, are adjusting to these new arrangements and are looking forward to next year. According to Principal Sachetta, "We started a lot of new things this year, and next year is the year to refine it, rethink about what we've done, and just make those things become better year after year."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist.
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
WAMU 88.5

Why Local Nonprofits Haven't Fixed Poverty

As long as there has been poverty, there have been people trying to end it. We explore the obstacles and inefficiencies local nonprofits run into when trying to solve society's stubborn problem.

WAMU 88.5

Can We Trust Our Cars?

There were more airbag recalls this week, and VW has agreed to pay nearly fifteen billion in its emissions cheating scandal. Meanwhile, cars with driverless technology are becoming available, but whether they will make us safer is up for debate. A look at auto safety and consumer trust.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.